Don Lee poses with Shaver at ground zero of the mysterious universe...with Shavertron Press in the foreground.

It's a rare fan that makes the trek to Summit, Arkansas, and Richard S. Shaver's tiny stone cottage next to the highway.

It's rarer still, that a fan drives to nearby Yellville and the old Layton Cemetery to put flowers at the Old Man's grave, but that's what Arkansas fan Don Lee did on April 11, 2015. Which is why Don has been named Shavertron's "Fan of the Year."

After devouring every book published by Shavertron Press, as well as McFarland & Company's fabled War Over Lemuria, Don decided to make the 70 mile drive to Summit as part of his Shaver Mystery homework, as it were, to find Muton Mion's final resting place. Don is a fanzine editor, too, and it made perfect sense to feature his experience in his zine, Real Weird #1 which he did. Here's an excerpt from that story, titled...

My Quest for Richard Shaver

"Earlier this year I became fascinated with a series of volumes -- the collected back issues of a fanzine called SHAVERTRON, published by a longtime Shaverian named Richard Toronto who had, as a teen, been a correspondent of Shaver's and had even participated in his "rock book correspondence course."

"In addition to releasing all the back issues of SHAVERTRON in attractive large volumes, Toronto authored WAR OVER LEMURIA: RICHARD SHAVER, RAY PALMER, AND THE STRANGEST CHAPTER OF 1940S SCIENCE FICTION.

"It was a labor of love and it shows. The book is a full-length biography of both men up to the point they met, and from there follows their ups and downs as colleagues and friends in one of sci-fi's stranger sociological phases gone wrong.

"After two or three years, sci-fi fandom, small though it may have actually been, turned against the entire vein of writing that had produced the "Shaver Hoax" as some called it; the "is it true or is it not true?" approach had, to some, sullied what "science fiction was supposed to be all about."


"So on Saturday, my neighbor Cheyenne, a real life Malboro Man and native to the area toward which we descended, agreed to accompany me as documentarian -- he is a skilled woodworker, mechanic, artist, and photographer, thank god.

Ralph "Cheyenne" Ireland, raconteur
and real-life Malboro Man

"My interns, the two Isabelllz (Isabelle Teeter and Isabel Cardon), begged off the trip suddenly, something about a crop circle in Elkins and/or a chupacabra "thing" -- those have become more and more common regionally in recent years -- but I was fortunate to have someone with Cheyenne's acumen covering my back. As it turned out to be necessary once the cops got involved.

Don heads to the front door that's familiar to all Shaver fans

"The people living in the former Rock House in Summit were a little wary of us at first, especially with my buddy shooting photos in the background like a paparazzi, but I introduced myself and gave them copies of two of Richard Toronto's books -- SHAVERTRON, The Mimeograph Years, and the (beautiful) first volume of ROKFOGO-The Mysterious Pre-Deluge Art of Richard S. Shaver, and after that they warmed up. The guy took me around the property, showing me where Shaver's studio had been (long gone), and also several suspicious piles of rock that had obviously been "manipulated." And so I was able to bring away three samples of what I am confident are Shaver's "rock books."

Genuine Richard Shaver "rock books" from the site of his old workshop

"The rocks were there. I stood on the ground. Whatever you might think of Shaver or his ideas, I find him to be, as many another artist, someone whose metier was just far enough outside the mainstream that he suffered for it, and what art he created, he did so out of heart and blood and sweat, with little or no support. Which to me puts someone like Shaver many notches above anybody in the mainsteam, period.

Without waxing sentimental, it was a great day. Of course it could not be so flawless; after we left town and realized were heading the wrong way, I backed around and into a ditch and had to call the cops and a tow truck and it was a sad $50 later we finally headed on back to home.

"What I can say, having built it all up this way, is that the trip was perfect. We found the cemetery and the grave easily. I took a few photos and left flowers and a pic w/ a text so future visitors could get a hint of who he was."

Don pays the tow truck driver, who looked like the dwarf king from Lord of the Rings.
He tipped him extra on that basis.

Note from Ye Ed: If you're curious about Don's fanzine (40 pages) you can order a copy ($5) or offer to trade your own zine by writing to him.

Don Lee, 185 N. Main St. #J, Eureka Springs, AR 72632.